Zalgiris continues investing into social well-being even during pandemic 0

While a strict quarantine has taken the basketball world off the rails, also twisting up both the social and cultural life, this period has become a personal challenge to each of us. For socially sensitive layers of the community, the negative psychological effects were also felt.

No exception were the participants of the One Team project that Zalgiris is running in Lithuania. Understanding the need of communication, teamwork and active sports activities for The Special Olympics Lithuania members, Zalgiris renewed the project’s activities back in September. The program was halted in March having gone through just half of it, but was renewed and completed with six more meetings with the youth just before the quarantine.

“It’s very important for this youth to be physically active, to have something to do. Otherwise, they close in on themselves, stop improving and risk to go in the wrong direction. Due to the quarantine, all their informal education activities were stopped and practically not brought back. It’s really nice to see the eagerness that the kids came back to the meetings with and how refreshing those activities were. We’re glad to be able to close out the program before the additional safety measures kick in,” – noted the project manager Akvile Dagilyte.

Nigel Hayes and Arturas Milaknis were the two One Team ambassadors who met up with the kids in the final meeting. They joined Zalgiris physical preparation coach Sigitas Kavaliauskas to play games with the kids and hand out diplomas.

In all the activities this Autumn, extra safety precautions were taken, with the program ending before the kids’ holidays, when informal education was restricted. If the restrictions seem to be in place for a longer time, the club is looking into transferring the One Team activities online, thus methodically aiming for the same goal – to pay homage to the local community, including it in sports activities.

Ramirent, who partnered up with Zalgiris all the way back in 2017, has continued working hand in hand with Zalgiris on the One Team project even during the pandemic, while One Team is mutually financed by the Sports support fund, administered by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Education exchange support fund and the Central project management agency. This allows the club to offer project participants a much greater variety of activities.